Lloyd Hamilton

Poor Boy Comedian of Silent Cinema

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About the Book

At first glance, Lloyd Hamilton was a large, baby-faced comic who walked like a duck. To the trained eye, Hamilton demonstrated keen timing and an inventive mind, providing wry humor rich in emotion during his 20 year career. Perhaps most importantly, Hamilton was greatly admired by his fellow comics, receiving praise from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
This book explores Hamilton’s life and work, beginning with his conservative, middle-class childhood and continuing through the comic’s entry into show business as a theatre extra, his most memorable role as half of silent comedy’s “Ham and Bud” duo, and his first feature film, The Darker Self. The author examines Hamilton’s private life and alcoholism and the decline of his health and career, which led to his death at the age of 43. The book includes exclusive photographs from the Hamilton family, a filmography with detailed plot descriptions, many behind-the-scenes facts, and an analysis of Hamilton’s critical lost feature film A Self-Made Failure.

About the Author(s)

Anthony Balducci studied journalism at Baruch College and holds a criminology degree at University of Florida. He has written three previous books, numerous articles on film comedy and online contributions to Feet of Mud, World Cinema Paradise and other websites. He lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Anthony Balducci
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4159-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. An Oakland Boy      5

2. Stage to Screen      16

3. The Rapid Advancement of an Earnest and Inventive Player      23

4. Part of a New Wave      37

5. New Vision      45

6. Business Suicide      52

7. The New Mentor      58

8. Dances with Lions      66

9. Further Adventures on an Ostrich Farm      77

10. A Fresh Start      80

11. Lloyd on His Own      89

12. The Man in Blackface      102

13. The Manageable Chaplin      111

14. Tumbling Back to Shorts      125

15. Erratic Behavior      132

16. Ain’t It a Crime?      137

17. “Drank Himself Out”      142

18. The Vagrant      146

19. The Comeback      152

20. The Final Fade      155

21. In Reference to Relics      182

Appendix I: Profiles of Select Sunshine Personnel      187

Appendix II: Profiles of Select Hamilton’s Associates      194

Appendix III: Filmography      201

Chapter Notes      243

Bibliography      247

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“Anthony Balducci has filled an enormous void with his biographical assessment of Hamilton’s life and work, offering information that even the most learned comedy film historians had not known. It is not only the first book about this fascinating comedian, it is also the definitive study. Any comedy film buff’s library is incomplete without it”—Rogue Cinema; “a worthwhile, first ever look at a notable though neglected figure…goes a long way in returning the spotlight to a gifted comedian”—www.examiner.com; “is a very good biography of a greatly gifted comedian. It makes you want to go out and watch Lloyd Hamilton movies.”—pbpulse.com; “this long-overdue biography illuminates the life and career of a talented comic innovator who has remained obscure for far too long”—charleychase.50webs.com.